Fifty Shades of Grey, currently number one on the New York Times Best Seller list, is a charming story about a college graduate, her billionaire boyfriend, and their sex life. It’s labeled as erotic fiction, but it sounds more like porn for housewives. It was apparently developed from a work of Twilight fan fiction under the author’s penname (I shit you not) “Snowqueen’s Icedragon”. That should tell you everything. I have no plans to read it.
But, in the continuing crusade to protect…someone…from reading about any kind of sexual encounter beyond “with the lights off and through a hole in the sheet just to make a baby”, Brevard County, Florida banned the book from its public libraries. Source.
When asked why the Kama Sutra, Lolita, and the Tropic of Cancer are still permitted to remain on the shelves, Cathy Schweinsberg, the library services director pointed out that those books became classics because of the quality of the writing. I can’t argue with her on that, I suppose. Fifty Shades of Gray apparently has plot and character development that wouldn’t fill a teaspoon. But do we really want people like Ms. Schweinsberg telling us what is appropriate to read and what isn’t? Removing this book from the shelves of the public library is just flat out wrong.
The real struggle I’m having with this is not defending the stupid book or the willingness to join the crusade to keep it from being banned. No, I’m struggling because of the moral quandary I’m having in deciding whether to permit it to grace my personal banned books library. Technically, it’s been banned, so it should be there, but…..yeesh. Please, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t ever let them ban Twilight.